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Benham Trail #38, AZ

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Guide 33 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Williams
Rated
3.4
3.4 of 5 by 14
 
5
Statistics
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,265 feet
Elevation Gain 1,991 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18.96
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
6  2018-05-08 azbackpackr
8  2017-08-13 BiFrost
4  2017-08-13 chumley
35  2016-10-05
Williams and the three B's
Tortoise_Hiker
7  2016-08-07
Bixler Saddle Trail #72
azbackpackr
7  2016-06-05 azbackpackr
5  2016-05-27 azbackpackr
21  2015-08-08
Bill Williams Mountain Tour
rayhuston
Page 1,  2,  3
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:06am - 5:21pm
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Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
4 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Wounded Ranger Knoll
2.1 mi away
1.0 mi
380 ft
Dogtown Lake Trail
Dogtown Lake Trail
2.4 mi away
2.5 mi
54 ft
Buckskinner Trail #130
2.4 mi away
The Ponderosa Trail
The Ponderosa Trail
2.6 mi away
0.8 mi
53 ft
Davenport Hill Trail
Davenport Hill Trail
2.7 mi away
2.5 mi
High School Hill Trail
High School Hill Trail
2.8 mi away
1.8 mi
873 ft
Hell Canyon - Kaibab NF
Hell Canyon - Kaibab NF
2.9 mi away
2.0 mi
-200 ft
Clover Springs Trail #46
2.9 mi away
0.5 mi
99 ft
Clover Spring Loop Trail
Clover Spring Loop Trail
3.1 mi away
City of Williams Link Trail #124
3.1 mi away
1.3 mi
236 ft
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Pleasant
by Abe

Memorial Day. To the east the horizon is glowing from the early morning sunrise slowly coming, changing the mood of a new day already four and a half hours old. Nursing my coffee, hot, black; driving my jeep northbound on 89 toward Ashfork, the hardest decision I was faced with this day was how will I get to Bill Williams Mountain? Should I drive up to Ashfork, hook a right onto I-40, and drive into Williams. Pleasant little town at the base of Bill Williams Mountain and claims the title as the gateway to the Grand Canyon. Or should I do something different, possible add a few minutes to my road trip by making a right turn at Drake's turn-off just pass Hell Canyon Bridge.


What the heck! I turned off at Drake and enjoyed the pleasant back road drive up to Bill Willaims Mountain and Benham's trailhead. The sun was up and it was more than likily already hot in Phoenix when I arrived at the trailhead around six. However, at 7265 feet above sea level, I enjoyed cool morning air as I prepared for my journey this day. Pulled my Teva's off and put on my Hi Tech's, tightening up my day pack, making sure I have my extra pair of soxs hanging off one of the loops, packing my wallet in the pack, and securing my vehicle. Rituals. Gotta do 'em.

Satisfied I was ready to go, I launched through the gate, and suddenly stopped when I caught movement! A deer! Grazing! I spotted other movements through the shawdows of the pine trees, at least a dozen deer. A couple of them already alerted by my movements and sounds was studying me, unsure of what to do at first, the others were grazing. I didn't want to move, nor did I want to reach for my camera afraid any movement on my part would have them cantering off through the trees leaving me in their dust. So I watch them for a few minutes and some studied me, until finally tired of my presence, they bounded off into the forest. I started my hike in earnest.

The sounds of the forest was pleasant. Yet in the distant, surprisingly, I could hear the low drumming of heavy traffic on I-40. A black ribbon artery, one of many in our state and nation, carrying the heavy commerce of capitalism, tourists in a rush to get where they are going, and maybe, a few locals. Necessary I know, but a slight annoyance nonetheless. Although, at one point I heard a train whistle, sounding like a metal beast calling out forlornly, for what I have no idea.

The trail is easy to follow and begins its climb gradual as it works its way up Bill Williams Mountain. Tall ponderosa pines and oak provide pleast shade. Although evident, and unlike the Prescott National Forest, there are few trees killed by the bark beetle. Thus far. One can only hope and pray the drought will end, sparing this forest from the further ravaging of this little nasty insect.

After an hour and a half, give or take, the trail begins to steepen and there are a few switchbacks. Several times I crossed the service road going up to the top as well. From time to time, the trees thin a bit allowing me a grand view to the south and from which I have come earlier on my way here.

I come to the first group of aspens. It was time to take a break and enjoy natures orchestra. Pulling my pack off, I sat down and layed back to listen. The slight breeze blowing, caressing the pines, the aspen leaves flittering, softly singing the tunes of life, joy, and solitude. I enjoyed the song. I could have stayed here all day. But alas, I knew my goal was the top and I could not stay here forever.

The trail terminated on the sevice road leading to the top. Following it the remaining half mile, I finally reached the top. Crowded. Not with folks. But with a variety of antennas, large ones, crowding in on each other. The look-out tower is dwarf to these latter 20th centery giants. I shouldn't have been surprised, I have seen them from I-40, I have seen them driving through Williams many times. Nevertheless, I felt overwhelmingly crowded by these giant steel towers with their support buildings.

I did not stay long, just enough to eat some snacks and study the view to the south. Then I left and took a leisure stroll back down to the trailhead.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Abe

    Kaibab FS Reports

    This trail starts in ponderosa pine and oak thickets, and climbs into the mixed conifer forest on Bill Williams Mountain. At several places along the trail the hiker has a good view of the forest below and the distant peaks. Although there is no water in the area, cool temperatures make this an enjoyable trail to hike in the summer.

    Trail Layout: This is a short day hike, with moderately difficult slopes going up the mountain, and easy down-grades coming back to the trailhead. If arrangements have been made for some one to meet the hikers at the top of Bill Williams Mountain, the trail ends there at 9256' (2821M). By leaving a vehicle at the Bill Williams Mountain trailhead, and also at the start of Benham Trail, the day-hikers can go up one trail and down the other for a total hike of about 8.5 miles. It is also possible to connect with the Bixler Saddle Trail #72 to make a longer hike.

    Length: 4.5 miles one-way

    Hiking Time: About 5 to 6 hours round trip.

    Rating: Moderate

    Recommended Season: Late spring to early fall.

    Use Restrictions: No motorized vehicles.

    Trailhead Location: Trailhead at 7265 feet. An accessible vault toilet, horsetrailer parking and corral are available at the trailhead, off CR 73.

    USGS Map(s): Bill Williams Mountain

    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike

    Access: In Williams, turn south on Fourth Street (County Road 73) and go about 3.5 miles to FR 140 and turn right; proceed about 0.3 mile to the trailhead.

    Travel Time: About 15 minutes to trailhead from Williams.

    Road Condition: Paved road to trailhead is suitable for passenger cars.

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